So, you have a strong brand, a website and you think you’re on top of your SEO, but have you considered local SEO enough? If you have a business with a physical location or offer a service in your local area, you’ll need to think about local SEO.
Optimising your website for local SEO can make a big difference when it comes to capturing local interest and driving any specific geographical traffic that you need. And yet, like SEO, local SEO isn’t that easy to create, especially due to all the recent Google updates such as the Pigeon update (which rolled out last July), which is why we’ve put together a handy top 10 guide to making the most of your local SEO.
If you’re a regular reader of our blogs, you’ll have come across our top 10 guides before. These all tie in nicely with our ten years of Rawww celebrations and are great reads too! Take a tour back through our other blogs and see…
But for now, let’s get back to local SEO. You’ll find four on-site considerations and six off-site considerations – all of which can create a positive impact for your business.
1. Local landing pages
If you have locations you want to target, specific landing pages are ideal, but it’s crucial they’re optimised correctly – and that means creating the right content and using the right keyword(s).
Get this right and you’ll see the difference when it comes to local search queries!
For example, if you have a chain of shops that sells bags in three different cities, creating a landing page for each specific city with location specific content will ensure local customers see your information.
2. Localised blog content
Blogs are great, aren’t they? They offer a fun, interesting way to get news or information across to web users, whilst using SEO. When it comes to local SEO, take the time to write blogs and news articles based on local content, events and things to do in the area, but – and this is really important – keep it relevant to the context of your website purpose.
Good optimisation is all about using the right keywords in the right places, having the right word count and using structure so that everything comes together smoothly and succinctly.
Once you have written and optimised your blogs, don’t forget to shout about it! Let people know through interesting social snippets (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), and via PR and email marketing too or your beautifully written blog may get lost in cyber space.
Google’s algorithm changes has had a big effect on how we use keywords – and rumours are going round that they aren’t important anymore. Keywords are still important when it comes to local SEO, just make sure you use them wisely and find the right keyword optimisation for your location.
Consider using Google maps on your website as this will help potential customers find your website more easily via search engines. Make sure all your information is 100% accurate though as this is vital within a map search with regards to the citation factor (see tip 8).
5. Links and Relationships
Now you know about the importance of local links, it’s easy to go crazy, but practice caution; don’t deliberately build too many local links too soon. You need to earn them.
One thing you can take advantage of though is networking relationships. Take the time to list your work partners, friends, colleagues, sponsors – anyone of relevance – and link to each other via social, PR and website linking. You could build a whole new customer base from each and every relationship link you make!
6. Events and workshops
Take the time to create local events and workshops for publicity or attend any of relevance to create local interest. You could even use apps such as Meetup to stir interest in your local area. Another worthy consideration is holding a charity-based event; this will naturally instigate new links for your business in a natural way and you’ll be doing some good in the local area.
7. Your competitor landscape
Understand what your competitors are doing for local SEO and learn from them! Take the time to browse the web and see who they are linking to, and how. This type of research will not only help you understand how other businesses apply their marketing and SEO, it can also inspire you and help you find new opportunities.
Please, please, please take the time to check that all the credentials where your website is listed uses the same details (such as your address and phone number), and ensure that both are local to your target area(s) otherwise Google could penalise you.
Keep all your contact information consistent, keep it the same (including the name of your business), and make doubly sure everything is spelt the same way in every instance.
9. Google Now and Google My Business
Have you discovered the wonderful benefits of Google Now and Google My Business? If you’re not on these platforms yet, what are you waiting for? They really are the best places to be listed on if you want to improve your local SEO signals.
For example, if your Google My Business listing is complete, customers are 38% more likely to visit and 29% more likely to consider buying your product.
Did you know that a whopping 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as reviews from friends or family?
And it is also true that four out of five people will decide not to buy from you if you have bad reviews. Think about it… If you read a bad review, it puts you off, doesn’t it? But, if you read a good one, you’ll want to try what’s being offered!
This means it is essential that you offer a good service that people will talk about in a positive manner and you should also make sure you give web users the mechanism of incentive to give you a good online review whether that is on Yelp, Facebook or on the most important review place of all – Google reviews.
Google reviews are the holy grail of reviews as it is very difficult – and dangerous – to fake them. Anyone found guilty of fake reviews on Google could find their search results ranking seriously impaired, so aim to be a business that offers people a great service/product that you are proud of.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our handy guide to local SEO. If our tips sound interesting but you are not sure where to start, we can help. Here at Rawww we’re dab hands at implementing the right local SEO techniques for your business and we can show you exactly how to grow local search engine rankings in your business catchment area.